About The Project



MassDOT's Highway Division is planning to replace the Route 2 Concord Rotary with a more typical overpass to improve safety and traffic movement, while minimizing environmental impacts. The Highway Division is also exploring opportunities to improve neighborhood connections, incorporate the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail and wildlife corridors, improve water and air quality and enhance the aesthetics of the project area in its design. In the current phase of the project, the Highway Division is presenting issues and ideas to the communities through a series of public workshops. The Overview below provides background on previous steps in the project and current status.

Overview

Background & Previous Studies

Route 2, Route 2A/119, Barrett's Mill Road and Commonwealth Avenue converge at the Concord Rotary. More than 61,000 vehicles use the rotary on a typical day. The purpose of the project is to improve the operating efficiency and safety of Route 2 within the project area. To address existing deficiencies, this project is looking at grade separating the local and regional traffic movements that currently feed into the rotary. Route 2 will continue through the existing rotary at-grade. Commonwealth Avenue will cross over Route 2 by way of a typical overpass. Ramps will be included to access all traffic movements. Sidewalks and bicycle accommodations will also be included on the local roadway systems. The intent of the proposed grade separation is to reduce traffic delays and improve air quality by reducing congestion; enhance safety by reducing conflicting movements; improve local access by separating regional and local traffic flows; and provide for safe pedestrian and bicycle travel across Route 2.

The Highway Division has been making targeted improvements along the Route 2 corridor at Crosby's Corner and from Sudbury Road to Emerson Hospital. A long-range feasibility study in Acton, Concord and Lincoln was conducted in 1996, which looked at transportation issues along the corridor. In 2003, the Highway Division's predecessor agency, MassHighway, focused on improvements between Route 111 in Acton and Baker Avenue in Concord. View the 1996 and 2003 study reports.

The Environmental Notification Form (ENF) was filed in February 2003, as required by the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA). The ENF identified three alternative designs (Alternatives 3, 5 and 7) that were the product of an alternatives analysis by MassHighway and the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS), and subsequent review by the Route 2 Corridor Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). The Route 2 Corridor CAC is comprised of representatives of the Concord, Acton and Lincoln Boards of Selectmen, State Senators and State Representatives representing study area communities, representatives from the Massachusetts State Police, Massachusetts Correctional Institute, Executive Office of Public Safety, and local citizens. View maps of the alternatives.

The Secretary's Certificate on the ENF was issued on April 14, 2003. View the ENF Certificate. The Certificate required preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to satisfy the State's process. The document will also serve as an Environmental Assessment (EA) to satisfy the Federal NEPA process. MassDOT's goal is to gather public input and develop a refined preferred alternative, in advance of the EA/EIR submittal. This Refined Preferred Alternative (RPA) will take the best of each alternative and include the input of abutters, agencies, community residents and businesses, and rotary users. The RPA should have the least impacts while improving traffic and safety.

The EA/EIR will then compare the three alternatives, the RPA and the no-build alternative. Each alternative is judged on how well it will process traffic, limit impacts and satisfy access and other issues. The Federal Highway Administration requires projects of this magnitude to have at least a 20-year design year, so traffic projections are for the year 2030.

The ENF Secretary's Certificate identifies specific issues and resource areas for analysis, including: wetlands, drainage/water quality, traffic, air quality, growth/regional planning, land takings, agricultural land, open space and recreation, vegetation, historic resources, visual and aesthetic impacts, hazardous waste, construction period impacts and noise. It also requires MassHighway to identify mitigation for unavoidable impacts. Comments previously submitted on the ENF will be formally addressed as part of the draft EIR.

Current Status

The current project study area limits have not changed significantly since the filing of the ENF and issuance of the Secretary's Certificate. Due to a lapse in time of greater than three years since issuance of the ENF Secretary's Certificate, a Notice of Project Change (NPC) was submitted in March 2008. The NPC also highlighted modest changes to the study area resulting from the original ENF filing and the Certificate. View the project limits. A Secretary's Certificate on the NPC was issued in May 2008, reiterating the DEIR scope contained in the April 2003 Certificate, with additional scope items to account for changes in the project since that time. View the NPC Certificate. The Highway Division is addressing the following items outlined in the scope contained in the Secretary's Certificate on the NPC, comment letters received, or subsequent coordination and cooperation through the Route 2 Corridor CAC process:
  • In response to the Secretary's Certificate on the ENF, analysis of a wildlife crossing at Route 2 near Nashoba Brook, as well as at the Assabet River, has been incorporated into the scope of the project;
  • As a result of discussions initiated at the Route 2 Corridor CAC meetings, the Highway Division has agreed to design the segment of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail from Commonwealth Avenue to Wetherbee Street as part of the Route 2 Concord Rotary reconstruction.
  • As a result of discussions initiated at the Route 2 Corridor CAC meetings, the project limits have been extended to include the Baker Avenue/Elm Street intersection to the east and the School Street intersection to the west.
Public Involvement Program

MassDOT's Public Involvement Program includes up to five Public Workshops and a 25% Design Public Hearing, a website and US Mail and email distribution lists. View the meeting schedule. The goal of the public involvement program is to maximize access to information and provide opportunities for community residents and business owners and rotary users to discuss the project with the Highway Division and consultant staff using a workshop format for public meetings. The Highway Division also encourages citizens to submit written comments, which the project team will carefully consider as it develops the refined preferred alternative.


Traffic back ups currently plague Route 2 at the Concord Rotary.


The project will protect historic resources, such as the John Cuming House.


Bicyclists currently use the area outside of the Route 2 guardrail to travel along the roadway.


The project will incorporate culverts under Route 2 for wildlife to use to avoid conflicts with vehicles.


The project will incorporate a Route 2 crossing for the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail.


The project will incorporate Bruce Freeman Rail Trail and Route 2 crossings over Nashoba Brook and the Assabet River.